Liberia: ‘Senate Secretary Singbeh Not Above the Law’

Senate Secretary Nanborlor Singbeh.

— Counselor Amara M. Sheriff Tells Civil Law Court in US$20M case against Nanborlor Singbeh

Cllr. Amara Sheriff, the lawyer representing a British investor Hans Armstrong, who is seeking US$20 million in general damages against the Secretary of the Senate Nanborlor Singbeh, has written the Civil Law Court 'A', expressing his disappointment over the behavior of the defendant (Singbeh).

Sheriff's disappointment was contained in his response to Singbeh’s contention against the US$1,000,000 indemnity bond Sheriff attached to the US$20 million lawsuit, the ‘Action of Damages for Libel by Attachment’.

The indemnity bond, as attached by Sheriff to the suit, makes it legally mandatory for Singbeh, as a defendant, to post a US$3.5 million bond to offset the US$1 million attached indemnity bond to avoid being sent to jail if he falls to find that surety. 

It was filed on behalf of Armstrong by the Sky International Insurance Corporation, but Singbeh’s lawyer, Cllr Joseph Gibson, is claiming that the insurance company is not qualified to serve as a surety of the indemnity bond.

“Sky International Insurance Corporation failed and neglected to attach its financial statement as required by law, instead, have attached 2020/2021 referenced as a statement of changes in Equity for the year ended December 31, 2021. The indemnity bond should be set aside,” Cllr. Gibson further claimed.

Justifying his action to attach the US$ 1 million indemnity bond to the suit,  Sheriff said his application for attachment was necessary because the defendant, Singbeh, has evaded summons in the name of the Secretary of the Senate, and believes that he is above the law because he serves as Secretary to the Senate.

“The law of this country is bigger than any one man, be it president, minister, secretary to the senate, a sweeper, security or a plumber,” Sheriff maintained.

For Sheriff, it took ten-days from the court summons on August 17, for Singbeh to respond by the August 27. “Defendant Singbeh evaded the summon until we applied for re-summon,” Cllr. Sheriff said. “The re-summon was approved by Judge Nancy Sammy before Singbeh was arrested and brought under the jurisdiction of the court.”

“For Singbeh to believe that he is legally untouchable, although he abused other people's rights, led to the application of the attachment bond which is sufficient, and Singbeh be made to face,” argued Sheriff.  “As  Liberia goes forth, let it be known to all governors and governed that everyone is equal before the law and shall have equal treatment.”

“If the text of the statute is to be given effect, then defendant Singbeh should be in jail until he files a counter indemnity bond,” Sheriff noted.

However, Singbeh's lawyer, Cllr. Joseph Gibson, in his exception to Sheriff's indemnity bond, argued that the attachment of the indemnity bond does not meet any requirements by the law.

Gibson further claimed that the correct attachment bond to the US$20 million lawsuit should have been US$30 million, and not US$1 million.

“But to get the judge's approval of the attachment bond in the amount of US$1 million is far drastically below the requirements of the statute. Hence, the bond should be declared null and void and therefore set aside,” Gibson contends.

Sheriff also claimed that the US$20 million in the complaint is very speculative and is within the province of the jury. 

In the lawsuit, Armstrong alleges that the November 24, 2020 edition of the Heritage Newspaper carried a caption, “Senate Secretary Singbeh Complaint Judge Willie of unethical behavior — writes Chief Justice Korkpor.”

In the article, the suit contends that Judge Willie of the Criminal Court 'A' illegally obtained Singbeh’s cell number 0886511308 from the management of Lonestar GSM  Company and issued it to Armstrong, who is using it to hack his account.

Further to the lawsuit, the publication alleges that Armstrong, a Syrian/Norwegian fugitive on Interpol Red Alert and Self-acclaimed British national, is wanted by Norway for crimes allegedly committed against children in that country. 

“Singbeh’s sole intent is for the publication to have Armstrong lynching, erode his business career and for his reputation to be damaged and has been damaged, all to the injury and detriment of the plaintiff,” the suit said.